Photo Gallery STYLEBOOK

Thanks to the popularity of the swanky Don Draper and perhaps the ironic “dressing up” of hipster gents, the trend in men’s fashion seems to be inching towards formality, or at least toward a kind of put togetherness that hasn’t been around in decades. But trends are trends and if this newfangled spiffiness is simply a passing fad it is risky business for retailers to open up shop with the modern fop in mind.

Still, this didn’t stop Ideyi Chuku, Montreal export and president of just opened Yorkville shop Leatherfoot, who saw a need in the Canadian men’s market for a shoe store that catered precisely to this kind of man. 

Chuku maintains, “Men are different these days. The ones who really care about fashion – like myself – want exceptional service and full value on the money they spend. There are plenty of menswear boutiques that function on this mandate but as a shoe enthusiast I really couldn’t find one on the level.”

No one will dispute the quality of the shoes at Leatherfoot, which carries artisanal brands like Austria's Saint Crispin’s that handcrafts their line and only produces about 1200 pairs a year. The detail on some of the shop’s shoes is astounding – from alligator skin filed down to look like suede to hand-stained, goosefeather-brushed leather.

This quality and craftsmanship comes at a cost, of course, a hefty price tag that that ranges from $470 (for factory made shoes) to $11,000 – for a double eyelet crocodile-made St. Crispin that takes 9 weeks to build.

Despite the reality of our new economy, Leatherfoot seems to operate under the adage “things just aren’t made like they used to be and if you want them to be then pay.” Seems fair, if you can afford it. If you can’t, there’s always vintage. Those hipsters really are one step ahead …

Click through gallery for various styles at Leatherfoot (Photos by Arne Ben Peterson)

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